tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News March 20, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
lights are flashing and we're closing down shop. we'll see you again tomorrow night. there is an open thread. vote in our polls good night from washington, d.c.. >> good evening, i'm bret baier live in chicago where mitt romney blew through the windy city to record a major win today. rick santorum finishes second. ron paul will finish in third. and newt gingrich, fourth. we have team coverage tonight. mike emmanuel at the candidate home state of pennsylvania and carl cameron at the site of
the romney celebration in illinois. hi, carl. >> hi, bret. big win for mitt romney. double digits. and early in the day aides saying they'd be happy but they're confident they're going to win. and it's a very big win for mitt romney. he's won 21 of the 33 contests that happened so far. and as he has in previous vikt floiz mention of his rivals vokusing on barack obama and his removeal from office. here is how he put it. >> our choice will not be about party, or even personality. this election will be about principle. our economic freedom will be on the ballot. i'm offering a real choice. and a new beginning. i'm running for president because i have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mess.
>> bret: familiar rhetoric from mitt romney. there is an indication from the campaign he would tonight suggest his campaign had begun to coa less conservatives behind him. and that it would be time now for some of the rivals to begin thinking about a decision as to twlornt get out. none that have happened. instead we're told that romney's sur investigates will begin that in the days ahead. and romney will go to louisiana friday for one day before that state's primaries saturday. that is the next big battle where the romney campaign does not expect to do well. the camp jane not advertising in louisiana but the super pac supporting him is. and there is low expectations in louisiana saying they expect to lose there. in this case, the romney campaign focusing on obama fully aware mr. santorum might
have his day in the sun. >> bret: thank you. now reaction from santorum camp. mike emmanuel is with the candidate in pennsylvania. good evening, mike. good evening, mike. >> good evening, bret. it seems to be trying to turn the page from illinois as quickly as possible. they emphasized he won in conservative areas of illinois such as down state, western illinois. santorum emphasized delegates he would be picking up with romney winning the state that will only tag his lead after it was over, santorum insisted waits not a bad night. >> we did very well tonight. a very tough state, one nobody had expectations to win in. we did what we had to do and got the delegates we can get. and now aum conservatives to
line up behind it. >> a point of emphasis there from santorum having conservatives line up with him. interesting point. a chief strategist came down and talked about not only wanting conservative owes support from those supporting newt gingrich but talked about wanting to hire people who worked for newt gingrich to work on the campaign so the message here was trying to turn the page getting a home state audience and talking about freedom. some of the themes we heard him talk about. then, it's on to wees wees where this campaign believes it will do well this weekend. bret? >>. >> bret: mike, thank you. let's get analysis from the team of experts. former george w. bush senior advisor karl rove, joe trippi and political strategist, mike murphy. welcome. i want to get thoughts about tonight and how it factors in
with the big picture, mike, first, to you. >> well, i think we saw good evidence of what i think the fatal flaw of the santorum campaign s you know, like a team that wins two-thirds of home games but lose as way games. if you get rick santorum out of the state he loses and his campaign is unfortunately for him, focused on votes he has. and this not a freedom. he doesn't win. he's got knot going to change this delegate dynamic piling up in romney's favor and has now without winning the narrative of a can't win primaries anymore. bottom line is the beginning of the end of santorum as a realistic candidate for competition. >> and joe, do you agree? >> i think it was a big night for romney and a disappointing night for santorum. i agree he had to break romney in illinois and important for
him to do it. from now, it's been the presumpive nominee. it's unclear where san tore wrum is going to be able to pick up steam here. >> and karl let me read something from a senior advisor to the santorum campaign. here is what he said tonight. people are getting too focused on winning states. that is not the contest anymore. it's winning your share of stuff. romney says i don't think santorum, or its a big lift for him to get to 1144. nornl part is a big lift for romney to get to 1144, too. and that is why he set up this process. they win, we rally behind them. and it's sort of like nfl playoffs. there is a plan and everything. and and so he talked about
winning their share. and the i look at numbers tonight there are only two districts solidly leading in the santorum camp. and that means at minimum of mitt romney going to win about 76% of the delegates up for grabs here, tonight. he's been winning 54% thus far in the contest. rick santorum winning about 26%, it's one thing to say we're winning our fair share. it's not a good night for you. and the santorum camp won't be able to return the favor on saturday to win the majority of the 25 delegates up in louisiana but tonight there are 54 and mitt romney is going to walk out with at least 42 and could have 45 of the 54. >> and mike, how about ron paul finishing third ahead of newt gingrich? he said he's staying in this
race. >> this is increasingly important that only newt gingrich had a stake in this race. and this is maybe they can be a state or two but they lack resources they're following now that didn't have much of an impact. i think it's romney's race to lose, now. i think what happened tonight is that two delegates came together z with the math advantage if you keep losing contests it will erode that. if they lost tonight and kept losing koit have toppled his candidacy. by winning tonight he put the win narrative and delegate count together in the story which i think gives them a move towards the nomination. i think these guys will keep trying and talking a lot about pennsylvania. i had to laugh he went to gettysburg for me it was both a turning point point for the north and casualty. he may try for texas. you'll have fun on the way and
i agree about louisiana i don't think the math is going work for him, now. >> but joe for santorum supporters say they wait until louisiana. >> right. you just heard we're going to do it again it will be a ping pong match and there is a resurrection again on saturday. he has been doing well in louisiana and could have won other states going down towards the end here, but look. i've done this before. it's very tough to take on an establishment candidate. the delegate selection is everything starting to work in their favor. it's -- you've got to stall them out early. it's not happening. they're going to find out the hard way it's not going add up and romney is now really starting to roll. >> and... are there any states where newt gingrich with k.hope for a kind of show something you know, bc ballot
of santorum isn't. what is the game plan for gingriches, the pauls and really, the santorums? >> the ron paul game plan is just stay in there, have fun. newt gingrich is apparently g going to lose. and spending the weekend wandering around cherry blossoms is not a powerful way to spend your campaign final days. i do think that all of the candidates stay in until after the day. the third of april might be a major point. and district of columbia is going to be between gingrich and paul. and mitt romney. maryland, romney is leading public polls. i think the big contest that day will be wisconsin all three of the primaries are winner take all. there are going to be 5 delegates up for grabs. if romney would win all three it would be a major point. if he wins only one, two, and suffers a grievous in the
third one it could be a problem. but we're to the point where rick santorum talking about making a stand in pennsylvania his home state. that is not a good tone to be taking. >> when we come back i want to talk about messaging setting up for the general election. we'll have more with the team of experts and my interview with obama senior campaign advisor david axelrod. >> why not just say return that money? i'm freaking out man.
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karl rove, joe trippi and i twoobt talk about the use of media and what about messaging? and what yoor hearing from mitt romney tonight? he prepares in his mind and his campaign prepares for a general election? >> the romney campaign is excite about getting their messaging aligned with the general election and so you're going to see them i believe talk less about opponents and more about what he's going to do for the country there. is no doubt he's taken some damage to his image during the primaries but i think they're back on how they can grab the general election and. >> joe, you used social media
with the howard dean campaign. what is your assessment of how these campaigns are using social media and how much it will be used in months still to come? >> they're all using it, done of them in romney getting a little better in particularly last few weeks as far as showing signs of getting it but none of the campaigns are near the prowess obama has. and used to say it's the economy, stupid i'm one of the people who believes it's the network, stupid getting really big and romney going to have to get better, i think it's going to be romney but he's got get better at messaging and using social media. i don't think, i think ron paul santorum has been pretty good and there is mitt getting better. >> paul ryan comes out with a budget and candidates endorse it. and mitt romney talks about it
today. it seems like hez message is starting to get about economic liberty and breaking fully this new plan. >> i think it's part of it. there is something going to think about the run ins of the election. this tuesday election. romney spent a lot of time in previous weeks talking processing and i want to win and delegates this prork ses that. sunday he went out and went after president obama on the issue of energy crisis calling for the president to fire a trio of officials romney held responsible for high gas prices. i think that is an interesting twist and why is he stopping talks so much a process? you saw that noont a speech, less about process. avoided calling opponents to get out and focused straight on obama. that is the way he's going to match up from here on out. >> all right.
quick answers down the road. mike, joe, and then, carl. does mitt romney get to 1144? with and when? >> mike? >> yes. and but, yes. but after california and after the end of the process, i believe. i think others are going to flip around, particularly santorum and there is a jerry brown scenario. he'll hang around and won't get delegates. >> he'll get there before that. it's unlikely anyone, look. it's possible someone can get a run of three, four or five states here and beat them in a lot of states in a row. but i just don't see that happening now. i think he'll get there before the last primary. >> i think it depends on what happened april 3. if he wins three he gets the thing sooner than later f he doesn't get three primaries it may take until the end of june. after tonight needs to win
about 46% of the delegates in order to win. he's winning as of tonight about 54 and a half percent. so there is a leg up over the opposition. there are no big states that are going to fall into rick santorum's hands z we've been talking about texas. texas is a set up that virtually every congressional district in the state is going to split. it's not going to be 155-0 but probably nine some-odd for one and 60-some-odd. >> we have a leg up, too with the brain trust. thank you for the time tonight. we'll hear next from the all stars heave stays amy stod yard and charles krauthammer our special report rolls on after a quick break. ♪
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>> we once led the world in manufacturing investment, today in will you su.s you know? why do we replace a law professor with a conservative businessman as president that. is going to end. governor romney and speaker ging rech went along with the ride. when the climate changed they changed their position, now they're all for drilling and oil and gas and coal. i was for it because it was the right thing to do then, i'll be for it tomorrow and the next day, the next day. i'm not going to change with the climate. >> the big winner mitt romney tonight in illinois welcome back to chicago. there were some other big races here in illinois on primary day.
congressman jesse jackson junior won his biggest primary fight with rival and former congress woman debbie hallerson in chicago and in the contest for redrawn 16th district republican freshman adam kensinger defended the 10 term congressman don manzullo. let's bring in our panel from washington steve hays. amy stod yard, and charles krauthammer, steve, thoughts about the race and big picture? >> good night for mitt romney. he did better than early polls indicated. and owe so he has to be happy with that. i thought the speech was a workman like speech. i didn't think the second where he compared his biography is going to be enough to carry him through it. he's a republican nominee to make the argument republicans
goring to rally behind. president obama said president for three years so comparing his experience of a businessman to experience of the president of the united states just isn't going to work. i think his performance tonight, his accomplishment is strong and sets him up well. on map 3 i agree with carl rove. >> and you know the fact is that romney did well even in the northern part of illinois. and going up against wisconsin. it suggests that perhaps that bodes well for wisconsin. >> it's a diverse state and a very big win and decisive. narrative is that he had degree gits he was losing now and had a big win in wisconsin and other key states around the corner on the calendar. i think you saw gingrich
tonight ready to attack romney and santorum. i don't think he wants to get out. soon it will be time even with a win in weez for rick san tore dwoum think about what he wants to do. and in terms of trying to deny romney 1144 delegates by june 26th in utah in that last primary. i think that -- i think it like he can be out sooner than gingrich. >> you heard from senior advisor for santorum there embracing the stop romney from getting to 1144. >> and this is to top someone else, we said of i'm not sure that is terribly attractive or realistic. you know? in years romney won ohio, michigan and illinois by more than double digits.
he's way ahead of delegates. tonight he'll approach half required delegates what he needs for the nomination. just around that. and lastly, there is ideological logic. here is romney the moderate running against santorum on the right. romney is winning. among republicans and what is the chance of the general election that. romney is a more moderate candidate has more natural appeal to independents. and there is an exception to the rule, that is a reagan. and the general rule is there is an easier chance to win. so i think all indicators now are turning to romney. i think for a lot of candidates it's mostly a question of facing reality,
sooner or later. >> quickly on local race we talk about it earlier on special report with a local panel. this is don manzullo against adam kinsinger. what does that tell you about that red on red battle? its tough this, is a redistricting battle when this popped up. he is the new young freshman a big star served in iraq, afghanistan, only 34 years old, came in on the wave with the tea party. the tea party left him. they don't like the way he's he leadership in washington. manzullo was really with more constituents in this district and many people told me they thought he would win. this is a very contentious issue with republican incumbents furious at their
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illinois primary. romney defeated rick santorum in the land of lynn come. and ron paul came in third and gingrich, fourth. romney will add to his already-imposing lead in the race. we want to get perspective from president obama's side of the campaign. earlier this evening i talked with senior advisor david axelrod and asked him to characterize the win here. >> it means that he got a return on his investment. you know he has spent santorum seven to one here and having lived here during these couple weeks i think k.attest to the commercials attacking santorum. so he's glammed out a victory here. and i'm not sure it's enough to end the race. i'm not the referee of the republican primaries but i suspect they'll go ton owe louisiana and yield a different result there and we'll be having this
conversation sometime. >> you talk about mitt romney l you tweet about him, a lot. is that because he's the candidate you least want to face? >> no. it's because i only have 140 characters and mitt is a short name. >> and i have always said, bret he's a front runner and has been a weak front runner from the beginning have not changed my tune. i think he's still the front runner, odds are that he's going to be the nominee. he said and does things that deserve to be challenged and i feel like i should do that. >> bret: how big of an issue do you think gas prices will be? >> i don't know. they're an issue for people at the pump. every time gou to the pump you face one of the reasons we're so eager to get a payroll tax cut passed it's somewhat of a hedge against these and we don't want to see the kmo kme
slowed down. the question is does anyone believe anyone under the president or any of the opponents have some sort of silver bullet bringing down gas? i think the answer is no. >> bret: we understand the president is heading out west tomorrow and he'll double bound on funding for research for solar power, in the wake of companies that have gone down, what message does that send to folks looking at prices that are going up? >> he's going do things that will help ak celebrat celebrate -- accelerate the flow of oil to refineries so it under scores the fact we need different approaches to this problem not just one. yes. we need to produce more oil, they're up 12% since the president became president. and solar is part of the future, wind is part of the future, and conservation is part of the future, raising
efficiency standards as we have for the first time in three decades is part of thachl we need a strat zwroi deal with getting control of our energy future why did they rush the decision? why did they choose to force the issue when told the state department had mer time to go through the review? i think the answer is that they want to create a political issue and should have allowed that to -- one of the legitimate question. >> bret: you're naming -- blaming republicans for shutting down key stone? >> they knew the state department needed more time to finish a review. think they tried to provoke the confrontation they they got. that will be reviewed in due course. >> the president and state department will review it.
it's -- there are a lot of issues associated with it. and the president traveled down to latin america said we're going to be brazil's next customer, those are messages people, republicans on the stop like newt gingrich have jumped on and said why is saudi oil better than american oil or brazilian oil? >> it's not better than american oil. the fact is that we're importing less now than we have in 16 years because we have been pumping more oichl oil production is less 12%, we're producing more domestically than we have in eight years. but we have 2% of the world oil and use more than 20%. you don't have to be a math major to figure out that is not enough. we're in a global oil market. and so oil here isn't necessarily used here, it's sold on the oil market.
some say that that stat is under selling what is here in america but let's move on this, is a back and forth. how do you think paul ryan's budget will play in the general election? >> it's interesting you ask it that way. because the question is is it a election document? it probably is. this version of the ryan budget is not that different than the last ryan budget and objections are the same. governor romney endorsed it today. so there will be a debate and it will be a healthy debate about which way we want to go. >> why haven't senate democrats passed a resolution in 1040 days. >> you understand the dynamics in the senate, bret. there are lots of things we haven't been able to pass over last three years saying it doesn't take 60 votes but 51. and we've got deep divisions
in the congress. between house and senate. and that is complicated our ability to get the things done. and one hope is that when we win this election that there will be a greater spirit of cooperation, moving forward. >> and people sit home and say very to do a budget about famous spending why can't senate domz a budget? they need 51 votes to put it through? >> they also don't have to deal with theater of politics in making a budget. we have to and do budget and deal with our challenges. the president has cut domestic spending discretion nairy spending by $1.2 trillion in order to accommodate the budget in the hands of the budget. we're going to continue to do the things to live within our
means while still moving forward. >> bret: why not call for the super pac to return the $1 million from bill haher? why not call for that? the president going for civility. why not just say return that money? >> well, first as you know, we don't control the super pac and we don't tell them what to do. i can understand this back and forth. bill marer used a word i find objectionable. the "c" word about women, about governor palin. and you know i think bret our culture has become too coors. i don't applaud or embrace that. i don't equate it with what we saw with rush limbaugh, four days on the radio hammering this young woman and in a very kind of per verse way. i don't equate that at all.
>> bret: he's made fun of special needs kids. >> you know that is something close to me. >> bret: of course, people are saying why not just say just give it back? >> difference is that rush limbaugh singled out this, i don't, condemn anyone who uses those kinds of language or depictions of people who are vulnerable or anyone who doesn't deserve that and they're words that don't belong. i'm happy to say that. i will say it about anyone no matter what side of the political debate they're on. the limbaugh case was a particularly agreejis incident because he took this young woman who is expressing herself and depicted her in the worst possible way. and in a very coors and per verse way. and really, what is disappointing is how few
leaders of the republican party were willing to say that was wrong. that was intents of leadership. governor romney was tep yid in the response for that. >> bret: i understand buchl there aren't a lot of democrats saying what bill haher said is offense dwroif some. >> i think what he said about sara palin was offensive. i understand he stopped using that word because people did complain about it. well he should have. >> bret: i appreciate it. >> bret: and axelrod is not appearing on bill maher show any time soon, some reported he cancelled at peer yens. the show apparently said he was never firm booked. reaction from fox all stars when we come back. ok, guys-- what's next ? chocolate lemonade ? susie's lemonade... the movie. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast spes. we'll take all the strawberries, dave.
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panel from washington now. you just heard that interview with david axel rod. your reaction and the framing of the election going forward? >> i thought axelrod was rather dense, those are tough questions on a couple of them. the senate hasn't submit aid budget in three years he stumbled around on that. and there was a question of key stone where again there is no answer. he tried to blame it on republicans as pointed out. and clearly obama decided long before republicans put in an issue decided to kill it. i think on romney their answer is rather straight. they know he's going to be the nominee. they're ready for them. they understand it's going to be a divide. they're ready for a big night.
and i mean a agree with charles on this senate not passing a budget. i don't -- i think he because waz backed into a corner, it's interesting to scare him -- just to hear him answer the question i mean there is no challenge going forward and you know that they fear they're not going to be able to raise enough money and can't turn away contributions from people saying terrible things and they fear their super pac won't be anything like those supporting republicans that is an issue giving money back for no reason. >> steve? >> well i was trauk struk by gas prices it's clear that they're sending him to oklahoma and new mexico to do photo ops that the white house is focused on this issue. you can tell that. he couldn't give you an
explanation n on questions about gas prices and that is going to haunt them throughout this campaign. he's got comments from energy secretary chu. all of the things the frez either has done in terms of enforcing regulations and hasn't done if terms of key stone in terms of expanding exploration and this is gooding to be tough for the white house. >> you'll notice... >> what about -- what about -- sorry. >> and one thing i didn't use talking about energy. that is algae. you don't hear about that anymore bret what about doubling down on solar in the wake of solyndra? isn't that swimming upstream in current environment where the story is about people feeling pain at the pump? >> it's a classic example of
administration trapped by it's own reality. and if he were a candidate in l.a. he could talk about anything he wanted. and there is now a record. and he it isn't answer answer to gasoline anyway. so there no way out. he has to double down because it's on his record. i think if he had to start over again unfortunately he can't. history is history. >> final thoughts in our coverage tonight as special edition special report continues. s ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your ruy nose. [ deep breath ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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day by day, job killing regulation by job killing regulation bureaucrat by bureaucrat this president is crushing the dream, the dreamers and i will make sure that that ends. >> i do think it's a question of who can beat barack obama. >> we're heading to louisiana for the week. and then we're going to be back here in pennsylvania and we're going to pick up a boat load of delegates and close this gap. on to victory. >> three of the four candidates ron paul did not speak tonight let's get final thoughts from our panel. steve, and charles. your thoughts on the race where it heads down the road? >> this is a strong night for mitt romney. he did better than expected and he was expected to do well this, is about 1144 and mitt romney. the magic number for him. neither is going to reach that
threshold. bits two candidates doing their best to deny him that number z mitt romney doing everything he can to get it. he's better off talking now with campaign, too, now in forward about issues and about big picture making an ideological critique of the president than he is talking about dell gits and ab, the delegate allegation was 41 for romney. 8 for santorum. >> and i think he's on his way. and he seems trying to get into a general election he wants to reach out to women, middle independent voters and wants to get going in a fight against the president. the problem is he just doesn't want to rub conservative voters in upcoming states the wrong way. he tries to shut it down skpb the nominee. and he doesn't want to leave them out. of people who are still clinging to his rivals and so
that is his challenge and he continues to make sure that the voters vote with him, not against him. >> charles, newt gingrich and ron paul say they're not going anywhere. >> well, i think that they aren't. i think romney understands he's on his way and he's talking about obama. two elements of the speech. and he had attack lines and big government. second element is here i am, i'm acceptable and a businessman, he's a professor but there is a third missing. it's reagan had when he ran against a weak opponent in carter. it wasn't a personality but there is a vision. romney said i have a vision. he doesn't spell it out, reagan had a big idea. supply tried economics. romney doesn't want to actually go out on a limb with an idea of his own.
i think he needs it to be there in the general election. i think the ride budget prevents a host of ideas. he needs to choose among them and run on that. >> charles, ab, steve, thank you as always, so... a big night for mitt romney puts him further in the lead in the republican race. he started the evening with more than twice the number of delegates and second place rick santorum and from here it's on to louisiana saturday with 20 delegates at stake there. then three on tuesday, april 3. maryland, wisconsin, and the district of columbia. a total of 92 in play that night. fox news channel will be with you every step of the way to caucuses, conventions to conventions to november election, then, inauguration in january. thanks for inviting us into your home again tonight that.
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